Cap Dil, Monaco and Eze..beach, glitz and villages

Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
Trip End Oct 19, 2007

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

After checking into our new hostel, we made a quick dash away from the Pink Lady and caught the bus to Cap Da'Ail, which is reputed as the best beach along the Cote and is only accessible by walking down a steep mountain track past several mansions from the bus stop. The beach or more like cove was lovely and secluded with small pebbles adorning its shore. I wished it could have been a little warmer so l could have snorkeled among the big cliffs caves which looked so inviting.

From this lovely beach we started the coastal walk from the beach all the way to another country....Monaco. It had been suggested as an amazing walk from our previous hostel, and l am so glad we took their word for it! If you ever come to this area you must do this roughly 45 minute walk. It goes right along the cliff face and ocean and is one of the most stunning walks l have ever been on. We viewed the most incredible villas and mansions along the way and stopped to picnic at a table where Kat decided to read out our favorite bible verses- and reading mine from Hebrews she started to literally "throw of everything that entangles," her and run her race! It was hilarious watching Kat and Janette begin acting out the verse- l have never seen the bible portrayed and dramatized in such a way! We then continued along the beautiful coastal walk, stopping to take funny photos of this guy in speedos outstretched on the rock ledge and every couple of steps sighing with happiness the entire way.

We reached Monaco- the tiny principality around 2pm and were instantly amazed with the immaculate high rises and gardens. It was like we had suddenly stepped into "tidy country"- everything and everybody seemed to be perfect! I had always wanted to visit this French speaking country boarding France and Italy and sitting on the Mediterranean. It sounded like a dream place and indeed it was- if you were wealthy enough to live out those dreams! Walking across the boarder we walked along and around the port filled with more luxury yachts- probably the most amazing ones we had seen so far in the trip.

We then walked up the hill to the Palais du Prince and took in the spectacular views of glamorous Monaco which covers a mere 1.95 sq km. From the cliff the fantasy land glistened beneath the towering cliffs and sparkling Mediterranean. We were surrounded by perfectly groomed streets, lush gardens with flowering hibiscus and blossom and chic boutiques and extravagantly opulent 19th century pleasure palaces. We heared about the principality of Monaco which has been under the rule of the Grimaldi family for most of the period since 1297 and is a sovereign state with close ties to France. It has been ruled since 1949 by Prince Rainier II, who updated Monaco and weaned it from it dependence on gambling revenue. His marriage to princess Grace (Hollywood actress Grace Kelly) restored Monaco's glamor. Since watching the movie "To Catch A Thief," which stars Carey Grant and Grace Kelly l have wanted to visit this Principality.

Of course next we had to visit the world famous Monaco Casino- Monte Carlo Casino- where we were taken back by its pure extravagance- and this from the outside and foyer alone! The inside looked like a grand opera house and we entered freely though we didn't enter the gambling rooms (which costs 10 Euro). If you want to see some free gambling then head over to Cafe de Paris opposite the Casino- and watch the rich become more rich. The entrance to the Casino was unfortunately under construction like everything is this time of year, but we were still very impressed by this Casino overlooking the Mediterranean, La Condanine harbor in Monte Carlo and the famous Hotel de Paris- were one can even walk into to take a peep!

We soon realized we were way out of our depth in Monaco as we took photos of ourselves with famous gorgeous models posing in the same location, as we wandered up to our bus stop past magnificent tulip gardens and fountains as Ferrari's, Lamborghini's, rolls Royce's and women laden with Gucci, Louis and Valentino shopping bags strolled past! As l said- it was another world, on l am glad l have seen but was ready to return to reality!
We caught the bus from Monaco to the perched village of Eze- a spectacular Medieval village on the hill halfway to Monaco with a panoramic view of the coast. This place felt like it was as close as you could get to the Middle Ages and we wandered its maze of cobblestoned streets passing amazing restaurants filled with beautifully dressed people strolling its streets. We then explored a spectacular located about resting in peace with a view- it looked over the hinterland and the ocean. We were all so taken aback by this gorgeous village, lined with tiny restaurants, antique and souvenir shops. Even the church was beautiful and we even smelt beautiful as we had visited a Provencal perfume factory "Fragonard Parfumeur" at the bottom of the village before hand. We of course took part in the free tour and took advantage of rubbing the free samples of body lotion and hand moisturizes all over our sun kissed bodies. There was even a perfume called Emilie- so of course l came away smelling like myself but more beautiful!

It was hard to leave this amazing village- it felt like a fairytale place and day as we caught the coastal bus back to Nice and watched the sunset over the sea. All l could think was what a parfait (perfect) day! Beautiful beached, walks, Principalities, perfumes and perched villages!

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